Devout Christians: Grasping the Ungraspable – The Enduring Quest to Define the Divine.

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( Many have a big problem conceiving God, but God does not have a problem defining man. Nowhere in the realm of intelligent, conclusive conceptions, not in religion, not in philosophy, and certainly not in science, is there a wholly acceptable and compelling definition of Almighty God.

Devout Christians: Grasping the Ungraspable - The Enduring Quest to Define the Divine.

Maybe that is how it should be.

At the dawn of classical philosophy, when Greece became a World Empire and its learned intelligentsia became the leading light in the world; where men like Socrates, Plato and Aristotle were revered for their philosophical insights, God was ill-defined, and such definitions made their way into the writings of luminaries like Homer, Sophocles and Euripides.

In nearly all their conceptions, God was not unitary but a plethora of gods and goddesses and having a rank assigned to them by their differing positions and affiliations.

Across the whole swathe of humanity just one country, Israel, understood the true character of God; and even among the Israelites the worshipping of false gods, the gods of heathens roundabout, and the false gods made with their own hands, were common.

Small, ridiculous minds like ours, carnal minds of short duration, maybe, should not have the capacity to definitively embrace a concept that, in truth, is immeasurable beyond our comprehension.

When the very learned and inquiring Moses asked God who he was, so that he could give the Israelites a satisfactory explanation of who sent him, then God gave Moses a most baffling definition. God said to Moses, “I Am that I Am” and instructed Moses, “Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you” (Genesis 3:14)

There is a serious problem here that has continued throughout history, and in all likelihood will continue until the end of time.

Although Moses assured Israel of God’s nature and His intentions with the most powerful miracles found in the Old Testament, yet the belief in false gods persisted.

Even hundreds of years later when Paul went on his second missionary journey he found in Athens the inscription, “TO THE UNKNOWN GOD” (Acts 17:23). The Greeks were still worshipping a plethora of gods and making an allowance for a god they thought must exist, that was unknown to them.

Even the early Christians, with the benefit of the teaching of Christ to call on, did not fully conceive God in all his dimensions. For the first three hundred years of Christianity, as it pertained to God and the person of Jesus Christ, controversies swept the church and Ecumenical Council after Ecumenical Council was arranged to deal with them.

The most troubling problem for man with respect to God, is that man, unique among intelligent beings, often seek to have a comprehensive and compelling concept of God before accessing the benefits God has provided.

This is the most serious problem, and in truth it’s mind boggling.

Man’s nature is not so exclusive. You may not know the full and compelling definition of electricity, and you may not know how the electrons can move down a wire and deliver a powerful energy to your home, but you do not hesitate to plug in your kettle and boil water, or flick the light switch and light up a room.

What is of utmost importance, is not any comprehensive definition that answers every question, that lays to rest every misunderstanding, and satisfies every possible objection or query. That would be awesome, but it is not necessary for everyday practical purposes. And it is not important as far as God is concerned.

What really matters, is to know how God works in order to derive real benefits from him, and to access his storehouse of blessed provisions.

The key is to really know, to fully understand, how God works.

As a practicing, dedicated Christian, no matter how much you desire to have some mouth-watering chicken stew and delicious dumplings, I guarantee you that if you get an empty bowl, get down on your knees, and pray and ask God to supply your need, that when you look you will not see your bowl full of chicken stew and dumplings. Forget that, it will not happen. Our miracle-working God does not work like that.

God is a problem for us only if we think God owes us something to which we are entitled and somehow He is holding back on us. This is the very opposite of the truth because it is we that owe God, and God has every right to demand that we honour that debt.

And here is a real vex problem. Man does not like being indebted to anyone, and yet, try as he may, he knows that he has a mighty debt towards God; and is unwilling to honour that debt.

This means that many, however much they may deny it, are conflicted, their consciences are perpetually in a state of flux and their subconscious prickly and unsettled. That is, unless, and until, they make their peace with Almighty God.

You do not solve a problem by defining it out of existence. Sadly this is what many are doing, and in time they will surely suffer the consequences.

By saying that there is no God, which is the same as saying that God is a man-made concept, is a failed tactic of refusing to come to terms with God and honouring our obligations. It is a mighty OPT OUT, and deep down we all know that.

ANYONE can see if this God thing is real, if it really works, by doing some simple things that all believers have done, and God ALWAYS honour.

God says this in His Word, “…a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” (Psalm 51:17) and “…him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” (John 6:37)

TO PROVE GOD: Just come to God in humility, and cast yourself on his mercies, and you will find out FOR YOURSELF that God does some wonderful things IMMEDIATELY.

The Peace of God immediately fills your heart. This is in accordance with the peace that Christ gives to all his believers, as recorded in John 14:27.

The burden of guilt and sin are immediately lifted, condemnation is gone and freedom reigns. This is because God’s grace has been extended to you forthwith as promised in Romans 8:1.

You become immediately adopted into God’s family through the Holy Spirit, this is known as baptism by the Holy Spirit, and takes place as soon as you make your confession. This great news is in accordance with Romans 8:16.

God is not afraid to let you put him to the test, He is willing for you to do just that.

Many believers are still not putting God to the test, not testing their faith, and their strength, and the power of God to do marvellous things in their life.

Remember what happened when the newly ordained Prophet Elisha demanded to know the “God of Elijah”. Elisha put God to the test, “And he took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and smote the waters, and said, Where is the LORD GOD of Elijah?” (2 Kings 2:14). God proved himself by parting the waters and Elisha went over.

This outstanding lesson of the way God works should stay with us for a long time. Elisha no more referred to the LORD GOD of Elijah, for God had become Elisha’s God as well and Elisha, henceforth, could say to Israel, time and again “Thus saith the Lord”.

God is a problem for many, but not an unsolvable problem. Believers everywhere have solved this problem and God who is gracious, merciful and loving, welcomes those who are interested in resolving this difficulty.

Staff Writer; Henderson W.

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